Lindsey Vonn is set to ski for the first time in 10 months in Austria on Wednesday as she prepares to come back from her January knee surgery.
“A lot of people don’t think I will be back,” Vonn told The New York Times. “That’s fine. The other girls are probably feeling pretty comfortable without me out there. When I do come back I think they’ll see that they can’t be comfortable anymore.
“It’s a new generation coming up, but they’ll definitely realize that the veteran is not gone quite yet.”
Vonn repeated her hope is to ski competitively for the first time this season in Lake Louise, Alberta, the first weekend of December. She also still plans to ski in the 2018 Olympics, which would be her fourth Winter Games, after not getting the chance to defend her 2010 Olympic downhill gold medal in Sochi.
“People wonder if my body will hold up?” Vonn, who will be 33 in February 2018, told the newspaper. “I’m very confident it will.”
On Tuesday, Vonn was named a 2016 Youth Winter Olympics ambassador, 500 days before the start of those Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Vonn, the first ambassador for the first Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012, joins Norwegian Alpine skier Kjetil Jansrud on the 2016 crew. Jansrud, like Vonn, suffered a major knee injury at the 2013 World Championships. Jansrud came back to win Olympic super-G gold in Sochi.
The Lillehammer Youth Olympics are in February 2016 and will include new events team ski-snowboard cross and monobob.
Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming and Michelle Wie have been Summer Youth Olympic ambassadors.